4-H Membership Policy
Age Requirement Policies
Youth Membership Age Categories
There are different age levels of 4-H YDP participation and involvement. Youth are eligible to participate in 4-H if they meet the following criteria:
- Junior (9-10 years old), Intermediate (11-13 years old), and Senior Members (14-19): Must be 9 years old by December 31st of the program year and may continue in the program until December 31st of the year in which they become 19 years of age.
- Primary (Clover) Members (5-8 years old): Must be 5 years old by December 31st of the program year. Youth enrolling or turning nine on or after January 1 must participate as a primary member until June 30th. Clover members are allowed to enroll in and participate in some 4-H projects with older 4-H members. Clover members are excluded from the following projects: swine, sheep, dairy cattle, beef cattle, horse & ponies, dairy goats, meat goats, llamas, shooting sports, ATVs, or Xsports. Clover members who exhibit in shows and fairs do so based on their age as of December 31st of the program year regardless of when the fair or show is conducted during the calendar year. Clover members may not participate in competitive pre-junior (fair "pee wee" showmanship classes) as a 4-H member. Coverage under the 4-H accident/illness insurance program and protection under UC's liability program is not extended to include pre-junior showmanship classes. In general, Clover members should not participate in competitive activities; instead, their focus should be gaining experiences by trying new things.
- Special Needs Members: Participants who are older than nineteen may be enrolled in 4-H special education programs with the approval of the county 4-H YDP staff.
Age Requirements for Adult Volunteers
- An individual must be 18 years or older to become a 4-H volunteer.
- An adult volunteer cannot simultaneously be a 4-H youth member.
- Depending on the roles and responsibilities of a volunteer position, additional age restrictions can be applied. Chaperon duties may be assigned to volunteers upon approval of the county 4-H YDP staff. Chaperons must be 21 years or older. All volunteers who serve 4-H in any capacity (project leader, camp counselor, driver, etc) must be enrolled as leaders to be covered by University liability insurance.
2020-2021 Enrollment Fees
4-H charges a per-person enrollment fee, which includes accident/illness insurance coverage for the individual while participating in 4-H activities. A portion of the fee is used at the state and county levels to support program development/implementation and staffing costs.
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4-H believes strongly that all youth should have access to our programs, regardless of their financial situation. As such, families may request that the above fees be waived if they would present a barrier to their enrollment. Please speak to your Club Leader or Enrollment Coordinator if you wish to request a waiver, and they will help you complete a 2020-2021 Fee Waiver Form .
Membership or Project Participation Across Club/County/State Lines
Each 4-H program offers unique opportunities, and we recognize that members may wish to take advantage of projects or activities not offered in their home county or club. These arrangements must be approved by County 4-H Staff in advance using the following procedures.
Project Across Club/County/State Lines
If a particular project is not offered in a youth's home club, then they may take that project in a different club if they receive permission from the project leader, club leader, and county 4-H staff. To initiate this process, complete a Projects Across Club County or State Lines Form .
A youth may never take a project that is already offered in their home club at a different club. However, the member may change their home club if they so choose.
Request for 4-H Membership in a Neighboring County
In general, members should enroll in the 4-H program in the county they reside in. However, if there are circumstances that make a neighboring county's program a better fit for an individual they may receive permission from the 4-H staff in the two counties involved to enroll in the neighboring county. To initiate this process, complete a Request for 4-H Membership in a Neighboring County or State .